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Forward Prospects and the Lines of Tomorrow

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Old
02-23-2006, 09:40 AM
  #1
Seph
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Forward Prospects and the Lines of Tomorrow

The conversation in the Bergenheim thread was getting off topic by a fair amount, but I did want to continue the conversation with distracting from Bergenheim's accomplishment.

It started with me saying
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seph
Something like...
Nilsson-O'Marra-Nokelainen
Bergenheim-Colliton-Comeau

...Could turn out to be a very good top six. Not elite in the scoring department, but it'll make up for that in grit and 2way play. And I think that playing Nokelainen with two gifted playmakers could see him become a 25-35goal guy, along with his great physical game and defense.

Just for the heck of it...
Marjamaki-Guthrie-Volkov
Regier-Nielsen-Tunik
...Could round out the bottom six.
And turned into a question of whether or not O'Marra could handle the first line responsibilities. I'm not saying he's a lock for it or anything, but I do think it's his upside.

Here's what a few scouting agencies had to say about him before his draft:
Quote:
Originally Posted by islesinfo.com draft central
CSB: A good skater for a player his size and is improving his agility and foot speed....solid on his skates and tough to knock off the puck....sees the ice well and moves the puck effectively through traffic....his soft hands make him a skilled playmaking type of forward....will carry the puck....always hovering around the net ready to release his good wrist shot....maintained a point per game pace throughout the season....a reliable face-off man....plays a steady two-way game and shows good hustle getting back to his own end....gives a consistent effort each shift at home and on the road....played the point on the power play and used on the penalty kill unit....not a punishing type forward, but does finish his check in all areas of the ice....selected fourth overall in the 2003 OHL priority selection....voted to the 2005 CHL Top Prospects game in Vancouver....member of Team Canada for the 2005 U-18 World Championships.

ISS: We love this kid and expect him to have a breakout year. A 17-year-old native of Mississauga, O'Marra has natural goal-scoring instincts and may possess the best shot in the draft. O'Marra elevated his game to another level in the playoffs which demonstrates an ability to rise to the occasion. Has ability to find a seam and get open for a laser shot...can score goals from anywhere on the ice...uses size and reach effectively. Plays an aggressive and physical game; works well in the corners, finishes his checks, has good puck control at full speed, drives the net for rebounds and demonstrates good hands in close. Is a very good skater; nice long stride, good agility, speed, strength and balance. Plays well in both ends of the ice and works hard. A real team leader and a very talented player.

Redline Report: A RLR favorite. Can do it all. Very good skater with excellent, crisp edges, particularly for a big man. Works well in all three zones and is very smart positionally- knows where to be on the ice. Smart, heady player with good hands and a nose for the net. Has pro size and plays a pro style game. Very willing to battle physically and can be dominant below the circles. Dangerous on both special teams, and uses his long reach effectively on PK unit to break up passes and transition to offence. Has very good offensive upside. Versatile, equally adept in the middle and on the wing. Gets to the net for scoring chances. Excelled in international competitions. Hasn't learned to bring it every night as of yet; needs to develop consistency, but is determined and motivated.


Red Line Report Wayne Gretzky Trophy(Most Natural Hockey Sense)
Ryan O'Marra- Reads and anticipates plays before they develop and turns quickly on the counterattack.
While I don't think O'Marra is an ideal first line center in the traditional sense, I think he could be a first liner like a Stoll/Horcoff in Edmonton or a Peca in Buffalo, and I'd be perfectly fine with that.

Btw, if the mod could move some of the posts on this subject out of the Bergenheim thread and into here, I'd appreciate it.

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02-23-2006, 09:46 AM
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seph
The conversation in the Bergenheim thread was getting off topic by a fair amount, but I did want to continue the conversation with distracting from Bergenheim's accomplishment.

It started with me saying

And turned into a question of whether or not O'Marra could handle the first line responsibilities. I'm not saying he's a lock for it or anything, but I do think it's his upside.

Here's what a few scouting agencies had to say about him before his draft:

While I don't think O'Marra is an ideal first line center in the traditional sense, I think he could be a first liner like a Stoll/Horcoff in Edmonton or a Peca in Buffalo, and I'd be perfectly fine with that.

Btw, if the mod could move some of the posts on this subject out of the Bergenheim thread and into here, I'd appreciate it.
I think O'Marra was drafted as Peca's replacement personally. It will take a couple of years but that is how I see his potential.....good leader, good faceoff guy, will score some and be responsible in his own zone.

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02-23-2006, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melanson
I think O'Marra was drafted as Peca's replacement personally. It will take a couple of years but that is how I see his potential.....good leader, good faceoff guy, will score some and be responsible in his own zone.
I think O'Marra's offensive upside is higher than Peca's, personally. But if he turns out to be a Peca, keep in mind that Peca was a first line center on a team that went to the Stanley Cup finals. Not to mention, a team that didn't have it's only traditional first liner (Satan) for two rounds of that playoffs. Or look at last season with Conroy in Calgary.

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02-23-2006, 09:57 AM
  #4
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Good to move this to a new thread, Seph. This was the part of my post on the Bergie thread, perhaps NYIsles can cut out this part from that post.

<<I don't think we can put any definitive limit or how high O'Marra will reach, but I tend to agree that his most likely upside is as a very good second line C a la Mike Peca, one who provides a good amount of scoring and great two way play but probably not enough scoring to be a true No. 1 C. I think it is interesting that Brent Sutter used O'Marra as a checking line C at the WJCs even though he is a top six guy in the OHL.

Again, I am very excited about O'Marra and I think it's too early to say "he'll never be better than X" but I think he's more likely to end up our second line C than our first. Not writing it in stone, mind you, just giving you my take on his projection.>>

I'll add to that based on what has already been said in this new thread that I agree that just b/c O'Marra may not be a traditional first line C that does not mean we cannot use him as such. Again, it depends on the type of team we want to build, and I wholeheartedly believe that we're better off having a team of hardworking, skilled if not superskilled O'Marra's than a top line that is soft and defensively suspect. Of course, the ideal is highly skilled AND hardworking AND defensivley sound, but being realistic you cannot always (indeed, cannot even often) get all three. Witness the rapid drop of Robbie Schremp last year, although perhaps some people are rethinking that.

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02-23-2006, 11:13 AM
  #5
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I'll make my comments in response to some comments in the bergie thread re 'not comfortable' with him as NYI's potential #1 center.

To me, I could care less how he is projected overall right now to be #1, #2, #3 center. Yes, that may have some bearing on the future of this roster, NYI's draft selection, and/or future signings.

However, it's all a matter of the kid proving himself worthy of making it to the NHL, THEN showing by his performance where he can play, his style, and with whom.

Let's no corner the kid into 'x, y, z' category until he plays for either BST or NYI.

Ideally, to solve the Yashin riddle, NYI need a Staal type player to emerge and push Yashin to the 2nd line. Will that ever happen during the remainder of the Yashin contract? Who knows?

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02-23-2006, 01:10 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blitzkriegs
I'll make my comments in response to some comments in the bergie thread re 'not comfortable' with him as NYI's potential #1 center.

To me, I could care less how he is projected overall right now to be #1, #2, #3 center. Yes, that may have some bearing on the future of this roster, NYI's draft selection, and/or future signings.

However, it's all a matter of the kid proving himself worthy of making it to the NHL, THEN showing by his performance where he can play, his style, and with whom.

Let's no corner the kid into 'x, y, z' category until he plays for either BST or NYI.

Ideally, to solve the Yashin riddle, NYI need a Staal type player to emerge and push Yashin to the 2nd line. Will that ever happen during the remainder of the Yashin contract? Who knows?
O'Marra playing checking center at the WJC kinda tells you something, I think. I still see Nilsson as a guy who could be an outstanding center in the NHL. I really liked what I saw of him, his playmaking skills are great and he skates well enough to cover all three zones in the 'new' NHL. Can he commit to getting back deep into the defensive zone? I don't know, but I think he's the only guy I've seen in the organization who has the tools to be a #1 NHL center.

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02-23-2006, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selvirino
O'Marra playing checking center at the WJC kinda tells you something, I think. I still see Nilsson as a guy who could be an outstanding center in the NHL. I really liked what I saw of him, his playmaking skills are great and he skates well enough to cover all three zones in the 'new' NHL. Can he commit to getting back deep into the defensive zone? I don't know, but I think he's the only guy I've seen in the organization who has the tools to be a #1 NHL center.
It tells you that Sutter had a lot of confidence in him. It also says that he's versatile and coachable. I don't think it says anything about his offensive abilities, seeing that a) Sutter was trying to win based on the strength of team defense and asked O'Marra to play a role that suited that philsophy b) O'Marra still played ahead of guys in his draft class with loads of offensive skill in Cogliano and Latendresse. I mean, do you really think that Sutter felt Steve Downie was more offensively skilled than Cogliano?

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02-23-2006, 04:56 PM
  #8
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Next World Junior

O' Marra will have a much bigger role in next year's World Junior. The key for him is to keep working on his first few steps. His character and work habits are first rate, at worst O' Marra should be a top second line center who can do a lot of things.

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02-23-2006, 05:05 PM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blitzkriegs
I'll make my comments in response to some comments in the bergie thread re 'not comfortable' with him as NYI's potential #1 center.

To me, I could care less how he is projected overall right now to be #1, #2, #3 center. Yes, that may have some bearing on the future of this roster, NYI's draft selection, and/or future signings.

However, it's all a matter of the kid proving himself worthy of making it to the NHL, THEN showing by his performance where he can play, his style, and with whom.

Let's no corner the kid into 'x, y, z' category until he plays for either BST or NYI.

Ideally, to solve the Yashin riddle, NYI need a Staal type player to emerge and push Yashin to the 2nd line. Will that ever happen during the remainder of the Yashin contract? Who knows?
All are valid points, and I try to hedge my comments as possibilities, rather than definites. I do think O'Marra has a higher offensive upside than some people are giving him credit for here, but I by no means think he'll definitely reach it. But I honestly do think his absolute downside is a 3rd liner. But as you suggest, it will all be determined by how he plays once he hits the professional ranks and how he continues to develop.

As for the Yashin riddle, I would be curious to try Bergenheim on his LW. It'd be nice if we got a center to emerge and take the spot, but that won't happen for another few years, even if we're lucky. But Bergenheim, could be a great winger for Yashin. His speed and hitting would open up space, and now that he's finishing goals, it wouldn't be like Yashin was throwing passes at Asham's stick hoping it bounces off and goes in. Plus, Bergie would be able to somewhat make up for Yashin's poor skating and suspect defensive game. Maybe a Bergie-Yashin-Blake line? Yashin seems to be best when he has speed and grit on his wings, even if they aren't the most gifted offensive players.

Then we could keep the Satan-York-Hunter line together. Follow it up maybe with Nilsson-Nokelainen-Weinhandl and Bates-Colliton/Smith/Colley/Collins-Asham. That's four lines you can roll pretty well. Every line has some speed, grit and 2way play, and except for the fourth line they are all scoring threats. That's also assuming we don't have Parrish or Kvasha.

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02-23-2006, 05:39 PM
  #10
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Just my opinion...

Bergenheim reminds me of Marco Sturm. O'Marra reminds me of Rod Brind'Amour. They're of similar size and projected skill level. Hopefully, they will develop accordingly. I have been a big fan of both players for a long time. Odds are always against a player reaching their projected NHL counter part but... If they come close I would still say they are keepers.

On another note... I think the idea of NEEDING a high scoring/skilled player to be your number one center is a myth. I feel that a team needs skill and talent to be successful. But if that talent is in the center spot or wings doesn't really matter. What you do need at the center position is someone who is talented enough to support/help talented linemates and assist defensively.

Don't get me wrong I would love to have a first line center/leader like Sakic on my team any day. But if given the choice between a stereotypical "first line center" like Yashin (even from his Ottawa days) and a stereotypical "second line center" like Brind'Amour... I'd prefer Brind'Amour. My point is that O'Marra or Nokie should not be discounted as potential first liners just b/c they do not project like offensive dynamo's like Malkin or Crosby.

On a final note regarding Nillsson... I really like his game too. Highly skilled and creative; but plays with tenacity. Looking at the Calgary Flames during their cup run and the Finnish National team in recent tournaments; tenacity and team cohesiveness seemed to be two prominent qualities shared by both.

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02-23-2006, 08:58 PM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selvirino
O'Marra playing checking center at the WJC kinda tells you something, I think. I still see Nilsson as a guy who could be an outstanding center in the NHL. I really liked what I saw of him, his playmaking skills are great and he skates well enough to cover all three zones in the 'new' NHL. Can he commit to getting back deep into the defensive zone? I don't know, but I think he's the only guy I've seen in the organization who has the tools to be a #1 NHL center.
What are they going to do with Nilsson's position. I see him listed as both center and winger on different sites!

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02-23-2006, 09:07 PM
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PECAhead
Don't get me wrong I would love to have a first line center/leader like Sakic on my team any day. But if given the choice between a stereotypical "first line center" like Yashin (even from his Ottawa days) and a stereotypical "second line center" like Brind'Amour... I'd prefer Brind'Amour. My point is that O'Marra or Nokie should not be discounted as potential first liners just b/c they do not project like offensive dynamo's like Malkin or Crosby.
As usual, I agree with a lot you say here. And if NYI has a future Brind'Amour (especially) and Sturm in their midst, I'll be doing cartwheels.

My only concern is: who gets those first line minutes and responsibilities at center while O'Meara and Nokelainen (and even potentially Nilsson, though the idea of three young centers at once frightens me defensively) develop?

You need a stable veteran in the mix. He, too, need not be a superstar, but if you go with the aforementioned two or three logging all of the minutes right off the bat at center over their first full year or two in the NHL , you are looking at an expansion team.

Point is, I'd like that vet #1 guy to be anyone other than he who is masquerading as such right now. His game, in multiple respects, is not a good "model" for youngsters.

If he were bought out this summer, would love to see NYI snag impending UFA Doug Weight or Jason Arnott (or, pipedream, Joe Sakic) to a three year deal. Either would be the ideal foundation player at pivot to bear the huge responsibilities, while the kid centers evolve properly lower on the NHL depth chart, without undo pressure.


Last edited by Trottier: 02-23-2006 at 09:42 PM.
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02-24-2006, 07:42 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trottier
If he were bought out this summer, would love to see NYI snag impending UFA Doug Weight or Jason Arnott (or, pipedream, Joe Sakic) to a three year deal. Either would be the ideal foundation player at pivot to bear the huge responsibilities, while the kid centers evolve properly lower on the NHL depth chart, without undo pressure.
Please No Weight! I saw him play the Olympics and out of all the players, I hated his style the most. Strictly a perimeter, no traffic player. Skates over blue line in offensive zone, turn back to boards while skating forward and looking to pass. Annoying to watch if I had him on team.

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02-26-2006, 07:06 PM
  #14
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one thing i think we can count on is that there will be four youngsters playing up front for the isles next year: nilsson, nokelainen, colliton, and bergenheim. i'm not necessarily pushing for these guys to be on the squad at the same time, but i think they will be there. as trotts pointed out, there does have to be a veteran-youth mix. you can't have those four playing big minutes night in, night out. so, along with those four i believe the following will also be new york islanders in 2006-2007: blake, godard, hunter, satan, and yashin. that is only 9 players.

those who might not be back: (1) asham could be gone because of poor performance. (2) bates could be back but also could be gone because he is simply injured too often. (3) parrish could be gone because of money. (4) kvasha could be gone because of poor performance. (5) weinhandl could be gone because of lack of performance. (6) york could be gone because of money.

add to all this uncertainty the possibility of getting rid of yashin and you are down to 8 players, 4 of which will be rookies. then, add to that my dream of acquiring d prospect johnson in this year's draft and you can kiss hunter goodbye as he would be the only thing anyone would want when switching draft positions with the islanders. and, is godard even a real player? not in my mind, so now you are down to 6 forwards. that's half of what you actually need on opening night and 4 of them are rooks!

this could actually be a good thing for the isles new gm and coach though as they would get to immediately put their imprint onto this team. any imprint besides mm's is probably a good thing (although he was able to at least leave us with some decent youngsters).

so, future lines you ask? ha! good luck predicting that!

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02-26-2006, 08:40 PM
  #15
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my thoughts/hopes/wishes on our future lineup:

2006/7:

gone are Parrish($), Sopel($), Bates.

Kvasha-Yashin-Nilsson
Hunter-York-Satan
Bergenheim-Nokelainen-Blake
Weinhandl-Colliton-Asham/Godard

Zhitnik-Mitchell
Campoli-Martinek
Gervais-Lukowich/Erskine

Dipi/Snow

2007/8:

Gone is Kvasha

Hunter-Yashin-Nilsson
York-Nokelainen-Satan
Bergenheim-Colliton-Blake
Weinhandl-Asham-Comeau/Godard

Zhitnik-Campoli
Mitchell-Gervais
Martinek-Lukowich/Erskine

Dipi/Snow

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02-27-2006, 08:37 AM
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isle-ike-it-alot
my thoughts/hopes/wishes on our future lineup:

2006/7:

gone are Parrish($), Sopel($), Bates.

Kvasha-Yashin-Nilsson
Hunter-York-Satan
Bergenheim-Nokelainen-Blake
Weinhandl-Colliton-Asham/Godard

Zhitnik-Mitchell
Campoli-Martinek
Gervais-Lukowich/Erskine

Dipi/Snow

2007/8:

Gone is Kvasha

Hunter-Yashin-Nilsson
York-Nokelainen-Satan
Bergenheim-Colliton-Blake
Weinhandl-Asham-Comeau/Godard

Zhitnik-Campoli
Mitchell-Gervais
Martinek-Lukowich/Erskine

Dipi/Snow
You realize Kvasha is a UFA this summer? You hope he's re-signed?

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02-27-2006, 12:03 PM
  #17
Capt Reynolds
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seph
You realize Kvasha is a UFA this summer?
This fact makes me so happy. With his guardian angel leaving the GM duties behind, I have to think that Oleg's days are numbered. *Especially* if Brent takes over -- can you picture him accepting Oleg's heartless play???? -- but I have to think any GM will not want Kvasha around.

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02-27-2006, 12:33 PM
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe C.
This fact makes me so happy. With his guardian angel leaving the GM duties behind, I have to think that Oleg's days are numbered. *Especially* if Brent takes over -- can you picture him accepting Oleg's heartless play???? -- but I have to think any GM will not want Kvasha around.
Honestly, if Brent were around, I'd be somewhat curious to see what he could do with Kvasha. Maybe he could pull a Keenan-Jokinen rabbit out of the hat.

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02-27-2006, 12:48 PM
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seph
Honestly, if Brent were around, I'd be somewhat curious to see what he could do with Kvasha. Maybe he could pull a Keenan-Jokinen rabbit out of the hat.
It would be interesting in a "science experiment" kind of way. The irresistable force meets the unmotivatable object.

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02-27-2006, 12:49 PM
  #20
Killer Carlson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seph
Honestly, if Brent were around, I'd be somewhat curious to see what he could do with Kvasha. Maybe he could pull a Keenan-Jokinen rabbit out of the hat.
I hear ya, Seph, but you would be willing to take the gamble if you had to pay him $2M next year? I wouldn't take that gamble. Personally, I think that Kvasha will never have enough drive or chutspah to be anything worthwhile. To me, the only reason he is still around is b/c MM didn't want to admit any failure with that horrendous trade.

Don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya, Oleg!

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02-27-2006, 12:50 PM
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe C.
It would be interesting in a "science experiment" kind of way.
LOL! He already skates around like Frankenstein!

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02-27-2006, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Killer Carlson
LOL! He already skates around like Frankenstein!
Yeah, but it looks like they put Abby Normal's hockey sense brain into him.

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02-27-2006, 01:25 PM
  #23
Seph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killer Carlson
I hear ya, Seph, but you would be willing to take the gamble if you had to pay him $2M next year? I wouldn't take that gamble. Personally, I think that Kvasha will never have enough drive or chutspah to be anything worthwhile. To me, the only reason he is still around is b/c MM didn't want to admit any failure with that horrendous trade.

Don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya, Oleg!
If he's gone, I'll shed no tears for him. But 2m? Not even Mad Mike gave him that kind of money. No one else will either. He's hardly going to start a bidding war for him. IMO, he'll be lucky if he makes even half that, and I wouldn't be surprised if he has problems finding a team that'll offer him a one way contract.

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02-27-2006, 01:37 PM
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seph
If he's gone, I'll shed no tears for him. But 2m? Not even Mad Mike gave him that kind of money. No one else will either. He's hardly going to start a bidding war for him. IMO, he'll be lucky if he makes even half that, and I wouldn't be surprised if he has problems finding a team that'll offer him a one way contract.
No, I know, but he got $1.1 M this year, I believe. I was just throwing out a number there. I bet he gets about the same on the open market next year as some teams will take a look at his size and some of the film of his few and far between good moments and think that they can help him realize how he could be a solid player. I just hope that we make it clear to him that staying here is not an option.

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02-27-2006, 06:05 PM
  #25
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Location: Niagara
Country: Canada
Posts: 3,250
vCash: 500
sorry guys, i thought that he was a FA the year after.

i don't particularly care whether he stays or goes.

rikker is offline  
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